Monday, January 3, 2011

TRON: Evolution - System Error

Being a fan of the original Tron movie, I was really excited to hear the announcement of Tron: Legacy, and that Daft Punk, one of my favorite artists, was making the soundtrack. As this was going on, I also heard about the game, Tron: Evolution, billed as taking place between both movies. I wasn't too sure about playing it, with the reputation of movie-licensed games, but I decided to give it a shot anyway. After playing it, I think I can safely say that while it was somewhat enjoyable, a few things could've used some work.

As stated, the story takes place between both movies, specifically after Tron: Betrayal, the comic book prequel the Tron: Legacy. Kevin Flynn has discovered a race of programs, called ISOs (Isomorphic Algorithms), which no one programmed. Though Flynn believes they are integral to the Grid, Clu, an avatar he created to watch over things in his absence, has doubts about this. The player takes control of a program created by Flynn, a Monitor called Anon, in order to help him investigate the murder of an ISO named Jalen, believed to have been caused by Clu.

The main story of the game helps to explain some key points that occur during the second film, such as why Clu despises ISOs. At some points, it even takes place during scenes near the end of the comic and during the second film's flashback sequences. I won't give any spoilers, but overall, it felt like it for the most part fit in with the Tron universe.

The graphics were actually pretty good for a movie-based game. However some parts of the scenery felt a little repetitive and could've used a little more variety. The aesthetic, however, was enough to distract me from this, as the look of the Grid impresses me every time I see it. Despite the slight repetitiveness, the game still drew me into the world it created.

The sound of the game is also amazing. The music, composed by Sonic Mayhem, Cris Velasco, and Kevin Manthei, was done rather well, and hopefully I can obtain the vinyl for it. For fans of Daft Punk and Tron: Legacy, a couple of their songs from said movie, The Grid and Derezzed, appear in the game, the former in the main menu and the latter appropriately in the End of Line Club. The voice acting was also done well, with Quorra and Tron voiced by their respective actors from the second film. Jeff Bridges does not voice Kevin Flynn or Clu in the game, though Fred Tatasciore offers a great sound-alike.

The gameplay, on the other hand, was decent, but had problems of its own. To begin with, your weapon in the game is an Identity Disk (referred to in-game as a Light Disk), which comes in four different varieties: the Heavy Disk, which offers more power during a ground slam; the Bomb Disk, which creates a blast and damages nearby enemies when thrown; the Stasis Disk, which slows down enemies when hit; and the Corruption Disk, which corrupts enemies and makes their health loss your gain. The effects of these disks, switched at will with the D-Pad, come into play when the Triangle/Y button is used with a shoulder button. You have to use certain disks at certain times to damage certain enemies, but when you're not forced to use one, you will find a favorite in no time.

There are 3 different control schemes: On-Foot, Light Cycle, and Light Tank. The On-Foot controls, used for most of the game, are pretty tight and fairly easy to use. The Light Cycle controls are done well, but it can actually become hard to steer at times. The Light Tank, however, is a bit difficult to handle, as much of its actions depend on the direction of the in-game camera. This game is also Playstation Move compatible, but I am unable to comment about it, as it is unclear when you are able to use it and how.

My main complaint about the controls is the in-game camera. This camera is a free-roaming one, but the way it works leads to problems during play. The X-Axis is inverted while the Y-Axis is not, and the only way to alter the camera is to invert the Y-Axis. This leads to frustration in that it often does not point in the direction you want it to and it tends to zoom in on your character a bit too closely.

On a lighter note, the game features a straight-forward Level-Up system. You collect EXP by killing enemies, which increases your Level, or Version. When you gain a new Version, you also gain Memory that can be redeemed for Upgrades for Anon at certain points. This also can apply to Online play, as some Upgrades can aid your teammates in battle.

Overall, this game isn't exactly that great, but its decent for a movie game. I'm not sure exactly who to recommend it to, but for sure I believe any hardcore Tron fan will enjoy it. The best way I can say to experience this game is to play it after watching one or both movies, using the Collector's Edition Tron controller. If you purchase the Collector's Edition of the game and don't like it, you will at least get a kick-awesome Light Cycle replica by Sideshow Collectibles, complete with display case.

No comments:

Post a Comment